How connecting beads showed me how to connect people

Once in my life, I saw myself connected to beauty. I remember how fashion and cosmetics made my mind for a while. The idea of being empowered by my own beauty was great! The shapes. The colours. The stores' windows seduced me. As the magazine covers. I loved to choose my clothes for the day. Mixing and matching all rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces possible.

My mind had opened even more when I watched on TV how I could -- by myself! -- design and make my own. Shortly I run to the bead store, bought all the colourful beads possible and all the material necessary. Actually, I didn’t. But my parents did it for me. I was 8.

I spent several afternoons making my creations. Stretching nylons and wires, filling them with shiny and colourful multi-shaped beads. At some point, I had so many in my bedroom that I decided to take them to school. In the first week, I remember to go back home with a $ 50 bill in my hand. That was the first time I could really hold one of these. My creative imagination saw it and concluded that it would be my future: a rich jewelry store owner!

Well… if is hard to have constancy now in my thirties, I can assure you that it is even worse when your age has only one digit. I need to confess that I was not the best planner at the time. And that 50 bucks became candies and chocolate in no time.

I had a lot of support from my mom -- who taught me how to control my finances with a cute pink notebook (her version of would it be an accounting 101 - kids edition) --; and not so much support from the school director that accused me of taking advantage from the other kids by taking their lunch money (hard to hear it, but truth… at some point).

After that, I started a promissory chocolate brand, an eco-sustainable business recycling straws in new plastic costume jewelry (see how I was into it?), a math tutor group (where I was the teacher), an online store, a sex shop, a financial consulting for startups, a musician management coach program, a music agency, a DJ career and in the middle of that I’ve been working for other people as well. You know… we need money for our crazy investments in life.

I always thought that I knew exactly what I want to do. Except that I didn’t. Jumping from one project to another. Changing my mind in the middle. Pursuing new opportunities. I started and abandoned one project after another. It is kinda frustrating when you look around and wonder what it could be.

So what do you wanna be when you grow up? What do we do for a living? Do you know what do you do?

Historically speaking the society passed through several revolutions. We invented and reinvented the way of doing things. We were (and we are) moved by ideas.

1 In the beginning, the factory changed everything, it was possible to make more and better. The efficiency of the industry could offer lower prices and democratize the products.

2 The second revolution came with the TV where now we could go further with a message. It was easier to spread the word. And if you have money and power enough you could push your products to even more people. With the internet, it was boosted and there is no limit to a message anymore.

3 However, now...

It is NOT about the product that you make or the service you offer. It is about the ideas you carry, the reasons that make you stand up for, and the stories that you tell.

We are in the time of connection

Our world is full of mistakes, ignorance and injustices. It is rigidly formatted to preserves the status quo. Our mission is to change it. Our mission is to connect ourselves.

We are social beings. We group ourselves. Sometimes by interests, sometimes by proximity, sometimes by jobs, sports, lifestyles, by "cute cat videos"… It doesn’t matter. The fact is that we always create tribes.

A tribe is a group of people with the same interest that keep themselves together. -- Just that. And I know you are part of a tribe.

I think is really empowered to see how ideas, connection and the tribe concept are getting greater nowadays. I feel freedom when I imagine we can change the world. I got revolted with several injustices in life and I never believed I could do something about it. They are bigger than me. It is overwhelming to look up and see that huge solid wall. I cannot do anything about it. You cannot do anything about. But we can.

Tribes are everywhere. From internet forums, online games, NGOs and social politic participation in marches around the world we have democratized the leadership. As we did with products and the information in past, now we are democratizing the ideas and the possibility to be part of something bigger.

With an idea in mind, we can use inspiration and transpiration to make it real. Fighting against what we do not agree with. Demolishing walls. Creating bridges. Making change.

1 Everything starts with a story. Which is your story? Who is/are the villain(s)? Who are the good fellas? Which is the hero's journey?

2 Then we need to find who has the same story. Who has the same beliefs, the same annoyances, the same revolted mind about the villain?

3 Getting together we need a leader. Be the leader of your ideas. Be the leader of your dreams and help your tribe. To be the leader is not about to be better, to be a model or a special figure. The leader is the one who is responsible for the tribe, who takes care. Who protects, who works more, who eats in the end, who open and close the store. The leader is the glue that keeps the tribe together.

4 Finally, we have some changes.

In a tribed world we can be a leader of our own movement, while you are also the follower of other leaders in other movements. The connection is the key. In this concept, the leadership sums and multiples, it never divides. Also, it is never a static goal. As I said, we are talking about changes, about movements. We can -- and should -- to invest in different ideas from time to time. We can change our minds, or we can be more attached to one subject now, and another one in the future. It doesn't matter. What really matters is that we have this lifetime opportunity to start now whatever we want and change tomorrow whatever we wish. I believe in you. Do you? What change in the world do you wanna be, today?

A four-step process to change the world. Ask yourself...

... Which is your story? ... Who EXACTLY are you upsetting? (Who is your villain? ... Who are you connecting to? (Who are your good fellas?) ... Where are you going? (Which is your journey?)


Godin, S. (2008). Tribes : we need you to lead us.

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